BEE UP MY ASS
It’s not just the villains and vixens, crappy newbies and bloated vets that are hated by millions of soap fans. Someone somewhere hates the supposed nice characters, the good girls, the noble guys, the charmed couples. For the haters, this one’s for you.
“Take a number and take
your best shot.”
I’m in a hating mood. An OLTL fan on an OLTL message board inspired me with her post about how much she hates Marcie, and Michael too, for that matter. She even hates their looks.
I won’t go that far, not quite, but I will get close. And this is where the requisite disclaimer goes:
The following in no way reflects on the actual individuals assigned to portray the hated characters. Sometimes said hated characters rise above into beloved, but usually not. A lot of the hate is based on hateful storytelling, the rest on just plain bad acting. Much of the hate spewing forth is deja-vu; such is the nature of soaps. If physical appearance seeps into the hate, it’s only because the persona exhibited reflects ugly on the outside, not because the person in question is ugly physically.
ALL MY CHILDREN’s Jackson, Joe, Dixie – even though Cady McClain’s no longer there – Greenlee and Kendall, in large doses, Maria . . . these are the characters that have repulsed me the most the past week. I’ll leave Joe and his hypocritical stance against David (listen old man, if you were dying of a heart attack, you sure as hell would want big bad evil, Dr. Death, leading your surgery) alone, since the guy is hardly ever on. When he is, all TPTB can do is use him to whip David into humiliation with his useless lectures. He’ll do it to JR this coming week, over Babe, who’s yet to suffer the full consequences of her actions and probably never will.
If ever a character suffers from emasculation though, it’s Jackson. The guy pontificates, fawns, purrs in his best Tom Jones lounge act and tries to be formidable in the face of those he perceives as threats to his family. Only, when it’s crunch time, Jack can do nothing but resort to the law, stand around helplessly wringing his hands, and say, “There’s nothing I can do, Lily.” Yeah, real helpful, now shut up and pop me some corn.
The rumor mill has been churning madly over this new “Di” character and head writer Megan McTavish’s hint that Di may not be so new after all. Take the Di from Dixie, and it’s logical to assume many AMC fans are hoping it’s a recast where Cady McClain (Rosanna, ATWT) left off. I’m not one of them. I don’t want McClain or Kelli Gillish, or Natalie Portman as Dixie, Di or anyone related to the Cooney clan. I never cared for the Bianca template, sanctimonious, ineffective, snotty bitch. Let’s move on.
But the two most hated characters on this show has to be, for me, Kendall and Greenlee. No wonder they’re enemies/friends/enemies. They’re equally repugnant.
Kendall’s Alicia Minshew is at her best vulnerable, allowing the windows to her tender soul, those wide open, liquid eyes, full access, whether she’s gazing upward tenderly at Ethan, or Ryan, baby-talking to Miranda by video computer, basking in motherly devotion from Erica. She’s at her worst, and not in a love to hate, when she attempts the tough girl act. This Kendall cannot do tough girl. Whenever she appropriates the bitch on wheels stance and rattles off those lame one-liners, I’m reminded of the haoles just transplanted to Hawaii from the Mainland who immediately try to blend in with the local crowd by appropriating pidgin English, like they’ve been living on the islands forever and their ancestors were full-blooded Polynesian. Or Madonna in that ridiculous geisha outfit, like she understands what it means to be Japanese. It’s funny, the second Kendall devolves into mean, she loses facets, layers, depth she worked so hard to build.
Her on-screen nemesis – and soul mate – Greenlee, I could never warm up to, never. I chose her whenever it was a choice of the lesser of two evils, i.e., that lip-pursing, baby-talking Laura recast, or when Leo softened her (but it was more about him shining his glow so strongly, I didn’t notice her around). In the beginning, Rebecca Budig came on in character as too strong, too assertive, too convincing as a pure unadulterated bitch out for herself, her gonads and nobody else. I was hard-pressed to locate a soul, much less a pulse, any weakness informing just why Greenlee didn’t care about anybody else but her own selfish needs, why she enjoyed putting other people down so much. Her amoral, materialistic leech of a mother and worthless booze-addled louse of a father could’ve given Greenlee the sympathy she needed, but IMHO, didn’t. If anything, Greenlee was even more of a bitch to them.
Even when she’s supposed to be reflective, remorseful, especially after exposing Kendall’s fake pregnancy in open court during the Michael Cambias murder trial, I couldn’t feel anything but a gleeful bitch putting on a show so someone, anyone important in that town would love her. Her one-liners, even more pathetic because that is the sum total of her communication skills, delivered in short, clipped, irritated snapping leaves even less to be desired.
You’d think she’d exude sex appeal, romantic interest, something of the feminine mystique around the men she’s wooing, she’s wooed. But again, nothing but smug, self-satisfied one-liners designed to make the guy and everybody else think she’s oh-so clever and edgy, delivered like a tomboy with too much caffeine. I sit around listening to that clipped, smart-ass voice and wonder how in the world any mortal man would want to listen to that all night long. What does she sound like when she’s coming for God’s sakes? Full body shudder.
ONE LIFE TO LIVE is so damn boring, I can’t bring myself to hate any character or for long, I’m just irritated with the lot of ‘em, except my core group of precious icons (David, Rex, Dorian, Kevin, R.J., Michael).
Of the irritating, Evangeline tops the list, alongside Blair and Todd.
Every time I write a bad word about Vangie, I’ve got at least five readers on my ass about racism or libel. One hundred percent of my problem with her however, is with the characterization as written, not with the performer, Renee Elise Goldsberry. I also would like at least one Vangie fan to explain WTF she did to R.J. that makes sense. I will be waiting until my ass explodes in strawberries, I’m sure.
Vangie, as I’ve profiled in a previous channeling column, acts childish, treats relationships as trophies to show off and her men to hound into submission. When she’s not showing off what a great catch she is to John, she’s hounding him about his feelings for Natalie and his inadequate feelings for her in comparison. She gives mixed messages, then punishes him with her pouting and silent treatment when he can’t read her mind. Take, for example, that stupid scene where she pretends to casually (nothing is casual with her, everything is premeditated for maximum show-off) return John’s key after picking up a file of hers or something of hers, whatever. Anyway! He innocently thanks her and takes the key back. She recoils and sulks like he just cheated on her with a one-night stand (you mean the same bullshit she pulled on R.J., then acted like HE was at fault?!), letting him know in no uncertain childish terms that he done did her wrong, disappointing her in the commitment department once again.
Last week, John got trapped in the evidence room with Natalie, both of them victims of Roxy’s match-making. But Evangeline didn’t take that into consideration. She blew the matter out of proportion, like John purposely stood her up. And, passive-aggressively forced him to prove to her that he loved her bestest, by kissing her and possibly contracting her stomach bug.
These are the reactions of a woman who is supposed to be secure in her love for John and his love for her, and not given to any jealousy whatsoever about Natalie because of that, ahem, security? Hey, that’s what Vangie’s Goldsberry said not too longer ago. Maybe she should check with the writers about that.
Blair and Todd, off on another perilous adventure, lord when will this avoidance therapy end? According to spoilers throughout spring, this couple will continue to grapple with outside influences keeping them apart, instead of working on the inner mechanisms of their relationship as two capable adults. If the plot devices keep up, as they will – Margaret and her pregnancy will be a factor one day – they’ve lost me as a former fan forever. I can’t believe I once adored Todd (moreso with Tea than Blair, but).
These two don’t handle their perils well either. Perils bring out their vicious, mean, nasty sides. They’re supposed to be tough and ferocious to save each other from the bad guys? Yeah, fine, but they’re too bad at it. I walk away wishing the asylum doctor ordered his goons to beat the shit out of Todd and the nurse to reward Blair’s backtalk and dirty looks with a backhand to the face. I’ve seen more sympathetic and rootable heroics from more villainous bad guys.
Then, I arrive at GENERAL HOSPITAL. As usual, GH takes the cake on most hated characters (so much for one reader’s theory that I blindly worship this show over the others). But before I hate on GQ and Embrat, let’s talk about the unprofessional way TPTB replaced Robyn Richards as Maxie.
Early on last week, my jaw dropped and fists clenched after reading on a soap message board that Kirsten Storms (ex-Belle, DOOL) would take over and then be involved in a major story with the teens and with her on-screen family by May.
So what was Ms. Richards, chopped liver? Too real? Too talented? Too eager to work?
I’m sure Storms is good enough. She popularized the teen set at DOOL for five years before trying to make it big in the mainstream. She even tried to popularize DOOL again in a bid for a return, but her former boss, executive producer Ken Corday nixed the idea, preferring to keep the recast he hired, the pinched Martha Madison.
But good enough is not Robyn Richards (er, you know what I mean, as in, Richards is the only one to play Maxie), who originated the role of Felicia and Frisco’s daughter in 1993, as a tiny tot. Richards imbued a fresh face and natural instincts, which then evolved into a gentle, vulnerable but always realistic portrait of a heart transplant survivor just trying to find her way without much of a mother figure. And, she did it through some stinkers. That she made Kyle, the drug-dealing skeev, likable and me nearly hopeful for a full redemption love story, then turned around and surprised me with the unlikely but palatable pairing with Zander speaks to her growth as an actress of quiet strength and noble humanity.
The sick, sad kicker of this is, TPTB tried to replace Richards before, with Danica Stewart (Jessica, Passions), a nice enough girl, but a little too Lolita for my taste. TPTB, they seemed to have forgotten that most of us long-time fans watched Richards as Maxie grow up before our very eyes from a little girl into a young woman, through the award-winning, tear-jerker of “B.J.’s Heart.” You can’t replace nostalgia that golden.
You shouldn’t even try.
But TIIC, they did, from under Richards’ nose, behind her back, without the courtesy of a face-to-face meeting (did she even get cake?). The rumor is, her talent manager Michael Bruno heard about the replacement from the boards too, then reported back to her by phone.
Such a shame. Worse, because Richards could’ve gone the bitter route, called the culprits out, bitched and moaned ala Genie Francis, and nobody (who followed her on the show with devotion) would’ve blamed her. Instead, this young woman, currently attending college classes, on top of auditioning for other roles now, chose the high road. Honest but respectful. Sad but hardly stunned. She told fans on her website that she sensed the end coming, that it hadn’t been the same since she was asked back (after much fanfare) three years ago, and she’d miss the fans and the cast connections she’d made.
She may not be bitter, but I am. For the rest of my life, I will never understand why true talents are shoved aside for unproven ones based on what? Physical beauty? The promise of beauty within? The shallow idiosyncrasies of the current regime?
Why must I, instead, continually see Natalia Livingston (Emily) numb up my TV screen, her stories insulting fan sensibilities, her inadequate, shticky acting dragging the story momentum down at every turn?
When I’m not telling Emily to go fuck herself, I’m sitting there acutely aware of the numerous times she does that half-laugh-exhaling thing. Whether she’s mad, sad, happy, confused, fighting breast cancer, engaging in infidelity, telling off Connor, being raped by Connor, demanding a divorce from Nikolas, ripping a personal letter to Lucky from Luke into bits then railing against Luke, flirting with Lucky, snarking at Elizabeth, spilling her guts about the rape only to the men in her life, except Nikolas, or butting in on every other story in development . . . she’s doing that goddamned half-laugh-exhaling thing, like she finally got the punchline to the joke of her first appearance.
And tell me. What woman would put up with the disingenuous, two-faced horseshit Emily’s pulling on Elizabeth? The girl is practically dry-humping Lucky right in front of Liz, for God’s sakes, and not giving a damn. I choked on my tongue when Emily actually wondered out loud what it would’ve been like had she chosen Lucky instead of Nikolas, in front of Lucky, like she had the pick of the litter of white knights, like she hadn’t just been raped. I don’t know about you, but if that were me, I wouldn’t want to disclose anything about my rape to another man, I wouldn’t be coming onto my best friend’s former boyfriend, I don’t care if it’s Jason and Jason is god on this show, or Greg Vaughan’s Lucky needs a story and the only way he’s gonna get it is on NEm scraps. I would go straight to Elizabeth, a friend who’s been there. Imagine the storyline improvement had THAT happened. I’d at least have been able to enjoy Rebecca Herbst’s version.
One more beef, Why in the world is Emily at the Cassadine-owned Wyndemere shacking up with Lucky anyway? A) I thought she wanted nothing more to do with Nikolas, since she wants a divorce from the guy who looks like the guy who raped her. What’s wrong with the Quartermaine’s, or asking Jason to put her up in her own apartment? And, B) does Emily not notice that perhaps Elizabeth might have something to say about where Lucky puts his head at night?! Think, writers, THINK.
Then, there’s GQ’s Georgie and Dillon, post-coital. Could there be any two more smug, spoiled brats in the universe? Not so much Dillon, who’s trying in vain to keep Georgie’s first time under wraps. But Georgie? My God, you’d think she won the Lotto, Nobel and Grammys all in one. She can’t stop gloating and bragging and strutting and sticking her chest out and into Dillon so the world can see.
But don’t tell my folks. Fucking hypocrite.
That little scene with Brook Lynn, where Georgie fairly goads her into fucking Diego too, so they can all be one cool club of little fuckers nearly turned my stomach. I don’t know any teenager worth her straight-As who would brag about losing her cherry. I didn’t as a teen, well… I didn’t, but when I did in college, the last thing I wanted to do was put up a billboard. Times sure have changed. Back in my day, if you weren’t a virgin, you were a slut for life. Even when I was a virgin throughout high school, this jackass on the football team spread the lie that I wasn’t, and I was scarred for the duration of my prison stay at Aiea High School and parts beyond.
Georgie probably doesn’t feel she has much else to brag about. I mean, she does come from a solid family (now), gets straight As, her sister’s a hottie, she’s well-off, wears the latest designer duds, talk about drawbacks, snort!
Too bad she doesn’t have the balls to work on her personality. It’s there. It’s just buried underneath all the junk of a twisted set of priorities and a humongous insecurity complex. Even after nabbing the guy by losing her virginity, twisted indeed, Georgie can’t feel secure. She has to kowtow to everything Dillon says and does, support him blindly in a criminal cover-up on Tracy’s blackmail, and still worry herself sick over him leaving her for film school.
And Dillon? Dillon has to feed that insecurity constantly, checking his speech to make sure nothing in it remotely hints at him feeling anything but utter devotion to her, the living, breathing perfect goddess of his dreams.
Sounds a lot like OLTL’s Evangeline.